Simcoe Ag Breakfast Meeting Minutes – May 18, 2016

Synopsis: Winter wheat is progressing very well. Corn planting has moved along decently in the area since two weeks ago, though still only 40-50% complete on heavier soils. Soybean planting has begun – biggest issue preventing planting still is cold soils. Warmer temperatures in coming weeks will likely accelerate planting activity. Overall, there is an observation that there has been good patience in the area; generally, planting is happening when conditions are fit. Quote of the meeting: “[It is] as good as it’s ever looked in Haldimand.” – Brian Gowan

Wheat Update: Winter wheat is progressing very well – generally ranges from Zadoks 32 to 39. One field in the area seen as far ahead as boot stage recently. Given the shorter wheat this year, due to cooler temperatures, there is generally less concern about lodging. The majority of herbicide and first fungicide applications have been sprayed. It was noted that it is too late to spray herbicides on winter wheat at this point – it is high risk, no reward. Given long-range forecast, winter wheat is expected to progress rapidly in coming weeks. This means that growers will need to be ready if planning to apply a second fungicide.

Sulphur deficiency has been widely observed. It is believed to be partially due to cold soil temperatures, which has slowed mineralization. There has even been sulphur deficiency observed in winter wheat fields that had manure applied. Ammonium thiosulfate applications are known to take 10-14 days to provide available sulfate for plant uptake. Ammonium sulfate was mentioned as perhaps a better option, in hindsight, for more immediate availability. So far, visual response of winter wheat to applied phosphorus has been pronounced this spring.

In one wheat field, application of a urea/ammonium sulfate blend resulted in dark green streaks on outside of spread pattern. It was believed that ammonium sulfate was thrown further, due to its density, which resulted in more sulphur on the edges. Other explanations included overlap along edges that resulted in greater amount of overall fertilizer applied in those areas. It was suggested that adding potash (at ~50 lbs/acre) can prevent separation in the spread pattern.

Rye is already starting to head out in the area, which is approximately one week earlier than normal. Sulphur deficiency has been observed in some rye as well.

Corn Update: Generally, corn and soybean planting progress is very variable – some growers completing finished both, others have not started at all. Estimated corn planting progress is 40-50% completed on the heavy textured soils and over 90% complete on lighter soils. Corn planted in late April is just spiking now. On heavier soils, the surface can look fit, but many are finding that soil is still gummy underneath – this makes it difficult to get a good seed bed.

Soybean Update: Soybean planting progress is an estimated 15-20% complete. A big issue continues to be cold soils, which have delayed planting. A history of yield losses due to planting beans into cold soils is believed to be behind the patience amongst producers. There has been very little crusting observed and it is anticipated that it will not be a major impediment to emergence.

Weed Update: Most producer questions on weeds have centred on bluegrass, fleabane and scentless camomile. It was noted that it is critical to control (glyphosate-resistant) Canada fleabane before soybeans have emerged. Eragon can be applied up to 3 days post-planting, which makes for a very narrow window if weeds are not controlled before planting. With eragon, the larger the weed, the greater the water volume will be required. If fleabane is 8-12” high, for example, 20 L/acre water as carrier is required to get decent control.

Other crops:

  • Most fruit trees made it through the cold temperatures of the past weekend.
  • Tobacco in the area has not been planted yet.
  • Apple trees in the area experienced -2 ºC temperatures recently – no suspected damage.
  • Frost was a concern for ginseng, however, much of it was covered, and no damage reported. On the edges where the crop was not protected, there was some frost damage.

Agri Corp:

Online acreage reporting is now available (see below).

The OLAR shortcut returns

May 11, 2016 – Production Insurance customers can, once again, use the shortcut to report their acres online. First introduced last year, the shortcut provides customers with easier access to the online acreage reporting tool. With the busy spring planting season underway, customers can take advantage of round-the-clock online reporting. Registered online users can also report their acres through online services. Online reporting is available from May 16 to June 30. Customers can also report by phone, fax, email or mail.

Crops that can be reported online are Grains and oilseed spring seeded crops.

Have your Agricorp ID ready and go to

  • Unseeded Acreage Benefit reporting deadline is June 15th
  • Report planted acres by June 30th
  • Production Insurance Premiums due July 10th
  • Risk Management Program payment is due August 8th– deadline for RMP (Risk Management program)

Coming Events:

  • Southwest Crop Diagnostic Days (UG Ridgetown, July 6 & 7) – Registration is now open
  • FarmSmart Expo 2016 (University of Guelph, Elora Research Station) – July 14, 2016
  • Eastern Crop Diagnostic Day (Winchester Research Farm) – July 28, 2016
  • IPM certification courses are free until August 31, 2016. Register online at or by calling 1-866-225-9020

Next Meeting: 7:30 a.m. June 1st, 2016 at The Shire (Travelodge) Simcoe